school forms, queer rage, three parent family, registering our child, lesbian families, visibility, co-parenting, diverse
Ben: So we moved to Etobicoke. Joshua goes to Norseman Junior Middle. Um, and, Alexis, being a teacher was – had to be at work. Ian, being in the private sector, had to be at work, so, you know, the U of T person, of course, I get to go, “ah, I’m just going to come in late today, uh, I have to sign up my kid for school”. So I showed up with all the documentation, and I said to both of them…
Ian: And your queer rage.
Ben: And I said to both of them, I went, “I don’t know what this is going to be like”. I don’t know if I’m going to show up and sign up a child that doesn’t have my name, doesn’t share my last name. And so I went in going, I have all – everything I need to have just in case. I was ready for…
Ian: And you were ready for war that morning. You should have seen him, when I left for work, he was ready for war.
Ben: I was like, “I’m ready for a fight. I’m ready for someone to tell me I can’t do this”. And I had all the language ready, and rehearsed in my head. I walked up, handed in the paper work, and they went, “wow, this is all great, you’ve done it all great. You’ve done all the photocopying”. Done. And I went, “that’s it? You don’t have eighty questions for me? And then, no. They said, “you are really organized, this is wonderful, so we, you know, look forward to meeting Joshua at the open house”. And that was it.
Ian: They did acknowledge, because when I was doing the speaking, the vice-principal acknowledged that they hadn’t had a family like ours before, but the – this in a sense where representation of lesbian families and culture over years really helped trail blaze for us, because that was visible to the school. They’d had lesbian families in the past. I don’t think they’d ever had a two-fathers-one-mother family.
Ben: Yah. And certainly no co-parented families.
Ian: No co-parented at all. And we were quite concerned initially when we moved to – when we moved from Regent Park to Etobicoke, and in Etobicoke we thought we might be facing a slightly different group of people, perhaps not as…
Ben: Like older white.
Ian: Not ready, not happening at all. And Etobicoke has leapt forward, and the complexion of Norseman is not what you’d expect either. It’s a very diverse school. It’s fantastic, we’re really excited and happy about it.